#BlogTour! #Review – Another Woman’s Husband by Gill Paul (@gillpaulAUTHOR) @headlinepg

gill paul
I am absolutely delighted to be today’s stop on Gill Paul’s blog tour for, ‘Another Woman’s Husband’. Huge thank you to Phoebe Swinburn for accommodating me on the tour! If you can’t tell already, I am so very excited to be reviewing ‘Another Woman’s Husband’ on my blog today. Keep on reading and you’ll find out what got me so excited. Enjoy!

gill paul 1
From the #1 bestselling author of The Secret Wife comes a gripping novel that commences with the tragic death of Diana, Princess of Wales, and journeys back to the fascinating world of Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor. ‘A triumph’ Dinah Jefferies on The Secret Wife by Gill Paul

Two women who challenged the Crown.
Divided by time. Bound by a secret…

1911
At the age of fifteen, carefree Mary Kirk and indomitable Wallis Warfield meet at summer camp. Their friendship will survive heartbreaks, separation and the demands of the British Crown until it is shattered by one unforgivable betrayal.

1997
Rachel’s romantic break in Paris with her fiancé ends in tragedy when the car ahead crashes. Inside was Princess Diana. Back in Brighton, Rachel is haunted by the accident, and intrigued to learn the princess had visited the last home of Wallis, Duchess of Windsor, only hours before the crash. Soon, the discovery of a long-forgotten link to Wallis Simpson leads Rachel to the truth behind a scandal that shook the world…

Richly imagined and beautifully written, ANOTHER WOMAN’S HUSBAND is a gripping, moving novel about two women thrust into the spotlight, followed by scandal, touched by loss.

What does TWG think?

As a huge history fan, I struggled to contain my excitement when the opportunity arose to read Gill Paul’s new novel. Even if you’re not a complete history buff, there is a high chance you’ll have heard of the name, ‘Wallis Simpson’. Also, if you remember a certain date in 1997 when ‘The People’s Princess’ lost her life, you may already find yourself knowing several of the key points of the storyline without even realising it.

Told from two different viewpoints – 86 years apart, ‘Another Woman’s Husband’ shines the spotlight on the two women whose names, and lives, will forever be imprinted in our historical timeline; Wallis Simpson and Princess Diana. Both women found themselves hugely popular with the media, with Princess Diana even being dubbed as ‘The People’s Princess’. Let’s be honest, we all know how Wallis Simpson managed to create a media frenzy, even in those days!

Whilst ‘Another Woman’s Husband’ is a work of fiction, the storyline IS supported by factual information surrounding Princess Diana and Wallis Simpson, as well as several other historical figures/socialites from 1911 onwards. Before I started Gill Paul’s novel, I was aware of Wallis Simpson and her not so glowing reputation in the world of history. I’m not going to lie, I did have Google handy on my phone so that I could double-check some of the storyline as I went along. It wasn’t that I didn’t believe the author’s research, it was because I became so invested in every word of the storyline, I ended up not knowing the difference between the facts, and the author’s fictional additions.  Everything just flowed seamlessly. Even though the story is told by Rachel in 1997, the time of Diana’s death, the years didn’t move forward which meant that particular part of the storyline was easier to dip in and out of, ideal for when the viewpoint changed to Mary Kirk’s from 1911 onwards.

What I found clever was how the book began in 1997, was set in Paris at first with Princess Diana being the main topic of conversation, in a book that is being published during the 20th anniversary of Diana’s death – when the topic of ‘The People’s Princess’ will be back in the media once again. Of course it’s going to be a subject at the forefront of royalists and Princess Diana fans all over the world, at this moment in time. So, to read the devastating event in black and white sent shivers up and down my spine. There’s one thing hearing the about it on the news or watching it on T.V, but then there’s another thing reading it in a book and letting your subconscious take heed of that piece of information, whilst mulling it over and digesting it in the only way your clever mind can; dramatically.

Don’t get me wrong, I was engrossed in the 1997 parts of the storyline but, for me, my most favourite parts were from 1911 onwards which were written with Wallis Simpson’s best friend in mind, Mary Kirk. I knew Ms.Simpson was scandalous, but eeeeesh! I loved being able to read the story as though I was back in 1911, watching the drama unfold with my very own eyes. Obviously, being predominately a work of fiction it can be quite difficult to differentiate between the fictional points of view and the facts, but luckily the author was one step ahead and included which parts were facts, right at the end of the book. I was incredibly intrigued by how one woman managed to make such a mark on history, yet she seemed to manage it as though it was the norm. I wouldn’t be me if I wasn’t blunt, so I will admit that Wallis did get my back up on a number of occasions. It just goes to show how different society and ethics were back in those days with the way people responded to Wallis’ misdemeanours. Although, back then it was the case of ‘it’s not what you know, it’s WHO you know’, which is also true for today’s society unfortunately. Maybe it was Wallis Simpson who coined that particular viewpoint? Who knows.

There were times where I was quite glad to have google at hand, such as when a certain event shocked me to the core and I had to google it to see whether it was indeed fact, or whether the author had written it in herself. The author really is THAT good at combining all viewpoints and timelines flawlessly.

As weird as this sounds, I wasn’t emotionally ready to say goodbye to those moments in time which have put us on this path today. It’s crazy how one person’s choices can create such a damaging ripple for anyone or anything that ends up in its path. The thing about history is that people will remember it as it’s documented a million times over. Granted a lot of the people involved will no longer be alive, but their distant relatives might be. Can you imagine?

‘Another Woman’s Husband’ has given me the biggest book hangover I think I have ever had. I became annoyed when I had to stop reading due to having to embark on adult things, and I was absolutely devastated when the book came to end. Gill Paul’s storytelling was beautifully engaging, often leaving me in a state of trepidation as I became incredibly invested in several characters and their lives. Gill Paul invited me on a historical journey with ‘Another Woman’s Husband’ – a journey which made me feel as though I was constantly being fed such rich and succulent knowledge, changing my viewpoint of the world without me even knowing it at the time. I was hypnotised by the authors wonderful writing skills, her magnificent story-telling, and her second to none research skills.

I adored everything about this book. Utterly, utterly brilliant.
After reading 193 books already this year, I can say that ‘Another Woman’s Husband’ has managed to become my most favourite book of the year so far, whilst also being in my top three most favourite books of all time.

This my friends, is a work of art. Any reader (and non reader!) should be proud and fulfilled to have ‘Another Woman’s Husband’ on their bookshelf.

Phenomenal.

Thank you SO much Headline Books.

Buy now from Amazon UK

 

Advertisements

#Review – Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell (@LisaJewelluk) @randomhouse

lisajewell
She was fifteen, her mother’s golden girl.
She had her whole life ahead of her.
And then, in the blink of an eye, Ellie was gone.

Ten years on, Laurel has never given up hope of finding Ellie. And then she meets a charming and charismatic stranger who sweeps her off her feet.

But what really takes her breath away is when she meets his nine-year-old daughter.

Because his daughter is the image of Ellie.

Now all those unanswered questions that have haunted Laurel come flooding back.

What really happened to Ellie? And who still has secrets to hide?

What does TWG think?

As a huge fan of Lisa Jewell’s previous novels, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on her latest book, Then She Was Gone! I was eager to find out whether the authors new book ended up being as fantastic as her previous work. Only time would tell!

Ellie disappeared. Vanished into thin air. Where did she go? Nobody knows. Her mother, Laurel, forever in a state of devastation. Can Laurel’s marriage survive such heartache?

Ten years after Ellie’s disappearance, Laurel is still none the wiser as to where her daughter disappeared to. No longer married to Ellie’s dad, Laurel finds herself trying to repair the relationships with her two remaining children; whilst also having the past come back to haunt her thanks to a random man entering her life.

I’ve been mulling over this book for a long time now, trying to make sense of what I read and how I absorbed it. At first, my gut instinct of ‘Then She Was Gone’ was ‘what the hell?’. I struggled with it. However, after putting the book down for several hours, I picked it back up again with more of an open mind. I guess part of me was expecting Lisa Jewell’s novel to follow in the same vein as her previous work, so when this book ended up taking a different route, it came out of nowhere and took me aback.

Having a several hour break from the novel was the best move I made because I became more focused on the actual storyline, instead of everything else. Don’t get me wrong, I still found parts of the storyline a bit confusing and not as straightforward as I would have hoped but, regardless of that, I still found myself oddly addicted to the book, refusing to put it down to do adult things. I was engrossed in Laurel’s situation, as well as the ulterior motive of the man who suddenly came into her life ticking all the ‘right’ boxes. Throughout the storyline I knew I was missing a vital piece of information, I just couldn’t put my finger on what it was, which began to bug me haha. I kept shouting at the book ‘WHAT DOES FLOYD KNOW?’ ‘WHY IS HE THERE?’ ‘WHY NOW?!’. I just had to know!

Personally, I didn’t think that ‘Then She Was Gone’ was one of Lisa Jewell’s better novels, however, I love how the author is trying her hand at more of a darker type storyline. I was addicted to the storyline for sure. I was addicted to reading about the characters. I was addicted to finding that missing jigsaw piece to make the storyline complete. There was just something about Lisa Jewell’s novel that grabbed my attention and wouldn’t let go. Granted I didn’t manage to follow the entire storyline due to a lot of confusion, but that didn’t seem to stop my mind from wanting to complete the novel. I have to say, I found the tying of loose ends to be exactly that; loose, and I finished the novel with a lot of questions.

Overall, I was genuinely hooked on this book with its dark and deceitful tendencies, as well as its rather questionable characters and twisted components. Lisa Jewell is an excellent author who certainly knows her craft, and she definitely manages to showcase her talent in ‘Then She Was Gone’.

Roll on the next book!!

Thanks Netgalley.

Buy now from Amazon UK

#CoverReveal!! Sam Carrington is BACK! #BadSister @sam_carrington1 @AvonBooksUK

Weekly Wrap Up! (1)

As a HUGGGEEEEEEE fan of Sam Carrington’s debut novel, Saving Sophie, I am SO excited to be able to reveal the cover of the authors long-awaited second novel; Bad Sister! Avon Books will be publishing ‘Bad Sister’ in e-book in October, and the paperback will follow in December.

Sorry but I can’t wait any longer! I just HAVE to show you!!

samcarrington

Sisters. Allies. Liars.

The gripping new thriller from the bestselling author of Saving Sophie.

Stephanie is scared for her life. Her psychologist, Connie Summers, wants to help her face her fears, but Connie will never really understand her. Stephanie’s past has been wiped away for her own protection. Stephanie isn’t even her real name. But then, Dr Summers isn’t Connie’s real name either.

And that’s not all the women have in common. As Stephanie opens up about her troubled relationship with her brother, Connie is forced to confront her own dark family secrets.

When a mutilated body is dumped in plain sight, it will have devastating consequences for both women.

Who is the victim?
Who is to blame?
Who is next?

-bounces up and down- how amazing does this sound?! If it’s anything like ‘Saving Sophie’, we will be in for an absolute treat!

Amazingly, ‘Bad Sister’ is available to pre-order in both formats right now, so what are you waiting for?!

Click HERE to pre-order ‘Bad Sister’

Weekly Wrap Up! (1)

#Review – Coming Home to Cuckoo Cottage by @Heidi_Swain @simonschusteruk @TeamBATC

heidiswani

From the bestelling author of Mince Pies and Mistletoe at the Christmas Market and The Cherry Tree Café comes a glorious summer treat of glamping, vintage tearooms and love …

When Lottie Foster’s grandmother’s best friend Gwen dies, she leaves Lottie her lovely home, Cuckoo Cottage.

Lottie loves the cottage but Matt, a charming local builder, points out that beneath its charm it is falling apart. Luckily he is always on hand to help with the problems that somehow seem to keep cropping up. But is he just a bit too good to be true? Certainly Will, Lottie’s closest neighbour, seems to think so.

Lottie plans to set up her own business renovating vintage caravans. She hasn’t told anyone about the project she has cooked up with Jemma from The Cherry Tree Café to repurpose Gwen’s old caravan and turn it into a gorgeous tearoom.

But before she can finally enjoy living with her legacy she must uncover who she can trust, and who to avoid. And with two men vying for her attention, will she also find love?

What does TWG think?

After a little time away from losing myself in one of Heidi Swain’s delectable novels (it wasn’t easy, believe me), I returned to Wynbridge with a spring in my step and copious amounts of excitement. After all, if you have read any of Heidi Swain’s previous novels, you’ll know that returning to Wynbridge is like catching up with old friends whilst making new ones in the process.

Lottie Foster is back in Wynbridge for a flying visit –  visit that is, unfortunately, surrounded by a lot of sadness and guilt. Just as Lottie was about to leave Wynbridge and make her way back to her mundane daily life, she is stopped dead in her tracks (pardon the pun) by information that could potentially change her life completely. Well, either that or she ends up being the most talked about woman in the village. Oh, wait…

Having adored Heidi Swain’s previous novels, I was so excited to see what the latest Wynbridge instalment would bring. How was The Cherry Tree Cafe thriving? Were the owners of Skylark Farm still living their dream? Whilst I was looking forward to catching up with some old friends, Lottie’s arrival in Wynbridge took over my thoughts in more ways than one. First of all, she didn’t exactly make a calm entrance back into the village, now did she? I probably shouldn’t have laughed at that, but I did, sorry!

As soon as the front door of Cuckoo Cottage was unlocked, I just knew that Lottie’s new life wasn’t going to be as plain sailing as she would have liked. I was waiting for the guy to come in and rescue the ‘damsel in distress’. It didn’t seem to matter whether she was actually ‘in distress’ or not but, sure enough, a male swooped in and popped himself on Lottie’s radar. Predictable? A teeny bit. However, what I wasn’t expecting was a second male character to swoop in and re-rescue the ‘damsel in distress’. Predictable? Not in the slightest, although he (Matt) seemed to appear out of nowhere like he was waiting for the right moment to pounce.

I wouldn’t say that I fell in love with Lottie’s character straight away but, because I had grown accustom to the closeness of the current Wynbridge residents as part of the previous novels, I felt as though Lottie Foster was a little bit of an outsider and I was hoping she hadn’t moved to Wynbridge, purely to cause trouble. Sounds a bit daft getting protective over a fictional village I know, but it’s a little bit difficult not to emotionally attach yourself to the village and its hardworking residents. I felt as though we have come such a long way already by overcoming such heart-breaking hurdles with various characters, I guess I just didn’t want their lives unraveling due to Lottie’s situation.

Matt annoyed me from the moment he stepped foot into Cuckoo Cottage. Obviously I cannot divulge the reasons why as it’ll give away the storyline but, he really needs to take a good hard look in the mirror and grow up (and yes, that’s the nice way of putting it!). As for Lottie and Will’s friendship, it seemed to me that she had only been back in the village a moment of minutes before she was dreaming of getting jiggy with her new neighbour. Whilst their friendship certainly was entertaining, I did feel as though they had reached 0-100 in the blink of an eye. Or maybe I’m just old-fashioned.

Overall, I found that ‘Coming Home to Cuckoo Cottage’ was such a joy to read, keeping me entertained from start to finish. Yes certain parts of the storyline came across as a little predictable, but, it didn’t take any of the Wynbridge away, nor did it ruin my enjoyment of the novel at all. The more I read of the book, the more I found myself warming to Lottie Foster and her little personality quirks – especially how she threw herself into emergency situations. For me, I preferred that side of her personality, and I truly believe that there is a lot more to Ms.Foster than we were shown. Hopefully she will return in later books (if any) as I really feel she is a gem just waiting to be discovered properly.

‘Coming Home to Cuckoo Cottage’ was such a pleasurable read which was full of giggles, heart-warming moments, live rivals, and memories. It is so hard not to fall in love with Wynbridge but, once again, I fell in love with it one more time.

Wynbridge may be magical in itself, but it’s Heidi Swain’s energising and exquisite storytelling which makes it that way, as well as making me come back for more. Stunning.

Thanks Netgalley.

Buy now from Amazon UK

#BlogTour! #Review – #YouAreLoved by Jo Platt (@JoPlattTweets) @canelo_co

You Are Loved Blog Tour Banner (5)
Today I am honoured to be closing Jo Platt’s blog tour for her latest release, You Are Loved. Big thanks to Canelo for inviting me to be involved with the blog tour! I am delighted to share my review with you all today. Enjoy!

joplatt

Sometimes, life needs a rewrite…

Author Grace Waterhouse has hit rock bottom. Her ex-husband has just had a baby with his new partner and her latest novel is… well, the less said the better.

Desperate for distraction, Grace impulsively takes on a friend’s cleaning job, parachuting herself into a new social circle including an eccentric OAP, a heartbroken twenty-something and one James Brooke, an enigmatic lawyer with an unblinking stare.

Add to this mix an anxious literary agent, a hairdresser who doesn’t mince words and a newly repentant ex-husband, and Grace’s career break proves to be more breathless than breather.

They say that all you need is love – but what if that’s the one thing you haven’t got?

The heart-warming, funny and unputdownable new novel from bestseller Jo Platt is perfect for fans of Mhairi McFarlane, Anna Bell and Joanna Bolouri.

What does TWG think?

Have you ever taken one look at your life and thought ‘screw you’?

Have you ever been stuck in mud so thick, that all you wanted to do is put on your comfy bra and hideous pjs (which hadn’t seen Persil since circa 1990) and camp out in your living room watching re-runs of ‘Men Behaving Badly’?

Have you ever wanted to re-write your life and start again?
(If only, eh!)

If you’ve said yes to all of the above and laughed at question number two, there is a high chance that ‘You Are Loved’ MIGHT just be the book for you. Sorry to disappoint you but there are no ‘Men Behaving Badly’ re-runs featured in this book. I know, I know – I’m devastated too. However, a bit of cringeworthy assumptions by our main character, Grace, is more than enough to make you forget about wanting to watch Gary and Tony’s antics over, and over, and over again. Trust me.

Grace Waterhouse has had her heart-broken, stomped on, and spat on by the man who she believed that she would be with until the end of time. I’m sure I don’t need to spell it out as for why, BUT, I weirdly admire Grace’s calmness later on down the line. Would I be like that? Hell no! Blunt scissors thankyouplease! Ironically, Grace puts the pen to paper about the very subject she is now a teensy bit bitter about. Look, I know some females are renowned at faking particular things, but let me tell you, emotions certainly isn’t one of them. Luckily for Grace, her best friend seems to know her better than she knows herself, and tells her to take a time out. And by golly, what a time out it is!

When books have tagline at the end of the blurb, I usually see them as a challenge. However, with Jo Platt’s ‘You Are Loved’ and her ‘unputdownable’ tag, I didn’t see it as a challenge at all. No. I saw it as a fact. Why? Because I couldn’t put it down that’s why! From the moment I opened my kindle to the first page, until the moment I closed my kindle on the last page, my eyes were fixated on one thing and one thing only; this book. Neil and Gavin (Grace’s best friends) had me in absolute hysterics – Gavin especially! Without giving too much away, Neil and Gavin weren’t the only hilarious and memorable characters from the book, and I loved them all!! Well, except one. But I believe I made my opinion on that particular situation pretty clear above? Oh, I didn’t? Grace’s ex-husband, Aiden, is an absolute cactus. Funnily enough, him being a cactus works well with the name of his new lady! Bet you’re absolutely gagging to find out what her name is now, aren’t you?

Whilst I snlaughed multiple times throughout the duration of ‘You Are Loved’, I did find that the whole Aiden situation dragged on a little bit. I really wanted Grace to kick him to the curb, instead of grabbing the carrot every time he dangled it. No! I don’t mean like that! Filth.

That aside, I enjoyed the whole ‘reinventing yourself’ part of the storyline, especially as the author managed to get such an important message across in amongst the hilarity and awkwardness. Sometimes we do need to take a step back from mundane situations, with it often being someone else who tells you that you’re sinking. Sometimes we need to do something out of the ordinary, regardless of what people might think and, to be honest, Grace did such a brilliant job.

All in all, ‘You Are Loved’ filled me with a lot of joy, a lot of giggles, and made my heart exceptionally fuzzy. Sometimes you just need a book like ‘You Are Loved’ to remind you of what is important and what isn’t. I really did enjoy this gem of a book (Aiden aside), and I am so looking forward to read what author, Jo Platt, releases next.

Thank you Canelo.

Buy now from Amazon UK

#BlogTour! #Review – The Law of Attraction by Roxie Cooper @toodletinkbaby @NeverlandBT

DIJPCEwWAAEC22L.jpg-large
I am delighted to be kick off Roxie Cooper’s blog tour today! Roxie Cooper’s debut novel, The Law of Attraction, was published by HQDigital on the 23rd June 2017. Although to be perfectly honest, after reading Roxie Cooper’s novel, I can hardly believe that it is only her debut. Wow. To kick off the blog tour, I am thrilled to be sharing my review of ‘The Law of Attraction’, as well as details of a giveaway! Not guilty….honest.

Book Cover-4
Amanda Bentley has always dreamed of being a barrister…

But as a platinum blonde bombshell from the wrong side of town, with a perfect tan and sleek high heels, she doesn’t exactly look the part – or fit in with the brash public school boys and cold posh girls of Newcastle Crown Court’s robing room. Amanda’s never been one to back down from a challenge, and so when she wins a prestigious pupillage following law school, she’s determined to make the most of her chance – and make all her dreams come true.

Only three things stand in her way: Sid Ryder – the sexy, irresistible barrister who she absolutely cannot, under any circumstances, sleep with. At all. Marty Gregg – her smarmy law school nemesis, who she’s in direct competition with for the top job. And her big, dark secret that could jeopardise everything she’s worked so hard for.

Who said that following the laws of attraction was going to be easy…?

What does TWG think?

I spotted Roxie Cooper’s debut novel (well, the cover) circulating on social media a while before it was released into the wild, and boy was I excited to read it! I honestly felt like I was squealing at the author about wanting to read her book, week in week out via Instagram. Let’s face it, the chances of that actually being the case are extremely high!

Anyway, it took me less than a day to read ‘The Law of Attraction’ and my heart broke when the time came for the book to end. I mean, how dare the author put ‘the end’? Personally, I wasn’t emotionally ready for ‘The Law of Attraction’ to end.

Amanda Bentley has the rather prestigious nickname of ‘Barbie’ – platinum blonde hair, a figure to die for, and a wardrobe that could actually beat Barbie’s hands down. Don’t even get me started on the shoes! Everyone automatically assumes that if your hair is blonde and your boobs are large, then you’re either as thick as two short planks or you spend your Friday nights shaking your ass to ‘I’m Too Sexy’ by Right Said Fred. When Amanda Bentley wins a pupilage once out of law school, she believes that the only thing she would need to worry about was the task in hand – winning the tenancy and getting the long-awaited dream job of becoming a barrister. However, it didn’t take long for Amanda’s dream path to be littered with hurdles, as well as people she would much rather forget than spend every day with.

I need to get one thing out-of-the-way; my opinion of Marty Gregg. What an absolute cockerel!!!!! How Amanda managed to not stick her fist through his face, I have no idea! What a smarmy little twerp! As soon as his creepy, smirking, dirty little face appeared in the book, I disliked him straight away. Naively I thought to myself ‘can this boy GET any worse?!’, and what does he go and do? He gets even worse. I absolutely despised him.

Right, onto the good bits! I LOVED how Roxie Cooper’s debut incorporated experiences from her own personal life, although I did spend a lot of time wondering whether any situations in the book were based on real life events. The author has made no secret of the fact that she was a barrister before she was an author, and I found that quite endearing because the storyline came across as being written from her heart, as opposed to being written from Google’s heart.

Whilst all of Newcastle Crown Court seem to judge Amanda on how she looks, the storyline itself runs a lot deeper than the contents of her make-up bag. I felt so sorry for Amanda as it was made clear early on how her childhood wasn’t worth remembering due to horrific emotional and physical trauma. When I say made clear, the readers are told that about her childhood, yet the reasoning behind her trauma doesn’t become clear until much later in the book. If you’re anything like me, you’ll put two and two together and come up with five. It’s lucky that I never wanted to be a barrister, eh!

‘The Law of Attraction’ is filled with some rather lovely characters, as well as some rather horrible characters who seemed to have popped over from ‘The Mean Girls’ as extras in Roxie Cooper’s novels. I cannot STAND people like that! I’ll admit, I found myself getting angry about those particular characters far too often, but I realise that the storyline required those colourful characters in order to get the point across. Of course, just like other books, I did have my favourite characters but I’m not going to tell you who, just incase I end up influencing your choices indirectly!

As soon as I had finished reading ‘The Law of Attraction’, I messaged the author and let her know about a part of the book which made me cry. Now, because I don’t want to give anything away, I won’t state which part it was, but let’s just say that it caught me off guard big time. I wasn’t expecting my eyes to leak. If you’re reading this book and end up crying at a part, let me know which part that was! Who knows, it might be the same one!

I absolutely loved every single thing about this book. It was gutsy. It was addictive. It was hilarious. It was kickass. It was deep. It had ‘errrrr come again?’ moments. It was intriguing. It made me feel a lot more emotions than I care to admit, in such a short space of time. I could tell a mile off that the author wrote ‘The Law of Attraction’ with pride, integrity, realism and a truck load of love. Yes, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think of ‘Legally Blonde’ whilst I was reading this. But, in all honesty, ‘The Law of Attraction’ beats ‘Legally Blonde’ hands down and, seeing as I am a huge fan of that particular movie, that is definitely saying something.

Heart-warming, addictively written with oodles of beautiful and shocking moments, ‘The Law of Attraction’ really is one of my Top Reads of 2017. I could not have asked for anything else in one book, it truly had it all. If not more. I laughed. I cried. I smiled. I became angry. I was empathetic. But most importantly, I found ‘The Law of Attraction’ GUILTY for being such a phenomenal read from start to finish; an all-round, pleasurable read which I will be remembering for such a long, long time.

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this book.

Thank you HQDigitalUK and NeverlandBT.

Buy now from Amazon UK

GIVEAWAYYYYYY!!!!!

UK ONLY!

To be in with a chance of winning a copy of ‘The Law of Attraction’, a copy of ‘Legally Blonde’ the movie, as well as a £10 MAC gift card, all you need to do is:

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY HERE!

Good luck!!

AUTHOR BIO

Roxie was born and bred in Middlesbrough. After studying Classics at University, she
became a dancer in a nightclub for a few years, before going travelling and living in
Australia. When she returned, she swapped dancing on a bar, to practising at the Bar,
and became a barrister for 7 years.
It was after being constantly told “Ooh! You don’t look like a barrister!” by absolutely
everyone she met, that the idea for her debut novel was born.
Roxie lives in Yarm, a pretty little market town in the North-East. She’s a bit (lot)
obsessed with Prince and spends far too much time watching him on YouTube. Her
hobbies include watching musicals, making her hair as big (and blonde) as possible, and
wishing she was Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Links:

Goodreads
Facebook
Instagram
Twitter

#BlogTour! #Review – The Cosy Canal Boat Dream by Christie Barlow (@christiejbarlow) @HarperImpulse

Christie Barlow Blog Tour Poster
Oh my goodness – FINALLY it’s my turn to host Christie Barlow and ‘The Cosy Canal Boat Dream’! On all of the other tour stops I have been sitting thinking to myself ‘the lucky beggars!’, whilst working out how I am actually going to word my blog post without continuously saying the same word. Trust me, it’s difficult. Now, I think I have managed to arrange my views into structured sentences, however, please don’t hold it against me if I do end up saying the same word over, and over, and over again…

christiebarlow
Welcome to the Little Rock marina – where hearts are healed and dreams are made…

For the last two years Nell Andrews has been struggling to stay afloat. As her life tumbled down around her, the only safety net has been her cosy canal boat, The Nollie. Tucked away inside, Nell has found a place to heal her broken heart. And now she’s ready to move on and follow her dream…

Gorgeous Guy Cornish, with his easy Irish charm, makes him an instant hit with everyone at the marina, and the perfect person to help Nell with her project. But Guy has his own reasons for being at the marina, and a past that threatens to sink Nell’s dream…

What does TWG think?

OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG!!!!! What a prologue!!!! I have never, ever read such a captivating, intriguing, and more-ish prologue before…until now. I’m not even overreacting – it really is THAT good.

Having read Christie Barlow’s previous novel (Evie’s Year of Taking Chances) and personally dubbing it as my most favourite book that she has written, Christie Barlow had unknowingly set the bar for her new novel extremely high.

In ‘The Cosy Canal Boat Dream’, we follow the life of Nell Andrews – a character whose life has had more emotional turbulence than an episode of Eastenders. It didn’t take me long to form a connection with Nell as I found her to be such a warming and genuine character, who was screaming out to be loved and understood.

A Christie Barlow novel wouldn’t be complete without a bit of eye-candy. Well helloooooo Mr.Guy! Whilst he certainly made his presence known, the storyline wasn’t governed by his flirtatious nature or the attraction between himself and Nell. Don’t get me wrong, Guy was a large part of the overall storyline, yet he wasn’t the main focus. In my opinion, the way in which Christie Barlow puts romance in the storyline as an addition to it as opposed to the main focus, is what makes her stand out as an author. Christie Barlow gives the main character a voice and a start to their journey before she introduces a love-match to the mix. I love reading chic-lit/romance novels but, seeing as I am the most unromantic person ever, having love stories eased into the storyline at a comfortable pace suits me down to the ground. I also LOVE how kick-ass Christie Barlow’s protagonists are! Such independent, self-aware, fiery characters who end up becoming one of my literary role models long before the end of the book.

Romance aside, ‘The Cosy Canal Boat Dream’ contains a lot more than a lovers happy ever after. Obviously I don’t want to give anything away so I’ll be as vague as I can, but, Nell Andrews has her heart set on a new life. As far as Nell is concerned, she’s done all of her homework, put pen to paper and created a plan – all without trying to think too much with her heart and less with her brain. As we all know with dreams, they can take a heck of a lot of blood, sweat and tears before showing signs of coming true, and unfortunately Nell learns that the hard way. Luckily for us readers though, Nell’s situation is enough to stop you in your tracks, leaving your mouth wide enough to catch flies. Did I see it coming? Did I heck! Did it leave my mouth open wide enough to catch flies? It was open wide, yes. As for the flies it was a close call!

If you could get paper cuts from a kindle, I should be covered in them now from changing the pages of this book rather quickly. I’d be lying if I said that I could put this book down. I would also be lying if I said that I wanted to put it down! Errrrrrrr no. I had to physically prise my kindle out of my own hands once the book had finished.

I loved the depth of this book as the author had managed to fill the storyline with so many entwining situations, yet merged them utterly seamlessly. Everything just flowed, and every single character had a right to be there (and no, I actually didn’t dislike any of the characters either!).

So, what DOES TWG think? It’s safe to say that ‘The Cosy Canal Boat Dream’ stole my heart and never gave it back. I fell in love with the setting. The characters. The overall feel of the book. Just…everything. Full of emotion, heart-warming moments, and envious friendships, ‘The Cosy Canal Boat Dream’ for me, ticked every single box and then some. It takes a really special author to be able to make you laugh and well up, both at the same time, yet Christie Barlow managed it yet again. I really have no idea how she does it, but she does.

I loved this book with all of my heart, and I truly feel that ‘The Cosy Canal Boat Dream’ is Christie Barlow’s best book yet. Such a phenomenal and beautifully written novel.

‘The Cosy Canal Boat Dream’ is full of joy, making memories, true friendships, and dreams – the perfect combination for a Christie Barlow novel. Once again the author has set the bar for her next novel extremely high, and once again I cannot WAIT to see what Christie Barlow comes up with next.

One of my most favourite authors of all time – without a doubt.

Huge thanks to the author and HarperImpulse.

Buy ‘The Cosy Canal Boat Dream’ on Amazon – NOW!

#Review & #Guestpost – About Us by Jon Rance (@JRance75) #AboutUs

I have had countless problems sorting out this blog post, which, unfortunately, has made my post late which I can only apologise profusely for. I am delighted to welcome author Jon Rance to the blog today as he celebrates the release of his brand new book, ‘About Us’. Before I share my review of Jon’s new book, the man himself is here to tell you a little bit about the book.

Over to you Jon Rance!

This is the story of Rosie and Pete. From the beginning until the end.

Hello! I’m excited for my very first visit to The Writing Garnet. Thank you, Kaisha, for having me.

OK, so why am I here? I’m here because my new novel, About Us, is out now and I’m here to tell you all about it. Right, so admin out of the way, let’s get cracking. About Us, is the story of Rosie and Pete Willis. It follows them from meeting at the height of the
Britpop 90’s to present day where they’re married with three kids and living in South London. It’s a comedy, a drama, a slice of life, and perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes, David Nicholls, and television shows like Cold Feet and This Is Us. At the heart of the book is the relationship between Rosie and Pete, but today I want to talk about one of the side plots and that’s the relationship between Rosie and her children.

Rosie and Pete have three children. There’s fourteen-year- old Alice, ten-year- old Josh, and seven-year- old, Daisy. A huge part of the book is Rosie dealing with her children growing up and trying to find her place in the world, post stay-at- home mum. Before she had kids, she worked in publishing and had a flourishing career, but after being a mum and housewife for fourteen years, Rosie is feeling lost. She feels like her kids are becoming strangers as the world grabs them – especially so with teenager Alice – and she’s becoming surplus to requirements. Being a stay-at- home father myself, I can feel some semblance of this myself. When our children are young they rely on us and need us so much, but as they get older and become more independent, we’re needed less and less and it’s difficult to accept. 

One of the themes of the book is the choices we’re forced to make as we get older. During the course of the book, Rosie has to make a lot of big decisions and her relationship with her family is at the heart of them. It’s heartbreaking to watch our children getting older and feeling as though we’re losing bits of them, and Rosie tries so hard to keep hold of them for as long as she can, but like all parents, eventually she realises she needs to start letting them go. And when she gets an offer of going back to her old job full-time, Rosie must decide which way to go. It’s just one of the decisions that will shape the rest of her life because at the end of the day, this is what life is, a series of decisions with each one defining who we are and what we become. 

About Us, is a dramatic comedy about life, about love, about us, and it’s out now exclusively on Amazon. Grab your copy now for just 99p for a limited time!

Buy now!

ABOUT-US-NEW-ONE
HILARIOUS AND HEARTBREAKING.

From the bestselling author of Sunday Dinners and Dan And Nat Got Married, comes a bittersweet comedy about a marriage, about how it begins, how it falls apart, and the choices we’re forced to make. Perfect for fans of David Nicholls, Jojo Moyes, and Mike Gayle.

Rosie Willis isn’t happy. Her once perfect marriage to husband, Pete, is falling apart, her mother is dying, and her three children are starting to feel like strangers. At forty she feels like she’s stuck, but then she meets handsome widower, Mark Hornby, at the school gates and he makes her feel alive again.

As she drifts further from Pete, she gets closer to Mark, but approaching Christmas she realises she needs to try to save her marriage and keep her family together. Despite her feelings, she can’t have an affair. Unfortunately, Pete has news of his own that throws everything into doubt.

Rosie must choose a new life. There’s Pete, Mark, or going it alone. It isn’t easy when you’re forty, when you have three kids, when you feel past it, when your mother is dying, but life isn’t meant to be easy.

What does TWG think?

What surprised me about ‘About Us’ at first, was how the story was told by a female main character. Before anyone starts with the ‘omg you’re being sexist’ comments, let me explain. Firstly, I can’t say that I have read many novels written by male authors, who have their main character as a female voice. Usually I find that authors usually have main characters as the same gender as themselves so, when I read Jon Rance’s novel with his main character being Rosie Willis, I was pleasantly surprised. In a good way though! It was so refreshing to see an author go against the ‘norm’ and write in a completely different way, enough to make a reader go ‘errrrrr what?’ (again, in a good way).

Rosie Willis isn’t a happy bunny. Her marriage has become a chore as opposed to the romantic, sexual, burst of energy relationship that it once was. Not only that, Rosie’s family are dealing with a heart-breaking and emotional situation, which, whilst it is incredibly difficult to go through, it’s a waiting game for the entire family.

Having never been married and only having one child, a lot of ‘About Us’ I couldn’t relate to in the slightest. However, I didn’t need to be able to relate to the general theme of the book to be able to enjoy it…luckily. I found myself warming to Rosie’s persona without the need of saying ‘oh she is SO like me’, because in actual fact, she couldn’t have been more different. Did that put me off? No, it did not. It actually made me realise that just because we haven’t been through certain situations ourselves, we can still find it in ourselves to be empathetic towards other people, should our personality make up’s point us in that direction.

I could see where Rosie was coming from though in terms of general happiness and not wanting to feel ‘stuck in a rut’, after all, who does? Why should you go through life living in a situation which doesn’t make you happy, just because people around you cannot bear to see you make a change which doesn’t fall into their belief system? Since when did  our lives become ‘Our Lives FT every single family member and in law’?

I’m not going to lie, I warmed to a certain gentleman in question during the storyline, and I was extremely hopeful that the storyline would go down that path. Whether it did or not, you’ll need to read the book for yourself and see where your heart lies, but, just like Rosie, I knew where my heart decided to camp out, and it wasn’t even for my own life! Crazy huh!

I did find that some parts of the novel seemed to go on for a little bit longer than needed, personally, but overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this modern-day, refreshing tale about choosing the right path and just…living.

Sometimes we go through life with our head in the clouds, choosing our paths with other people in mind, completely forgetting the most important person in that journey; ourselves. We have all done it, and let’s be honest, we will continue to do so. After all, we are only human. Before reading ‘About Us’, my journey was taken with everyone else in mind. After reading ‘About Us’? Well, let’s just say that I am more determined to put my foot down and go through life via the path that I choose.

A refreshing, funny, enchanting tale which will make you see life in a completely different way. Hats off the author, that’s for sure!

Thanks Jon Rance!

Buy now!!

#Review – #DareToDream by Izzy Judd (@Mrs_izzyjudd) @Transworldbooks #letstalkfertility

izzy judd

Izzy Judd shares the story of her and her husband Harry’s fertility journey in this honest and heartfelt memoir.

‘All I ever wanted was to be a mum – I couldn’t wait and it felt as though my time was so close. But the months started to tick by, with each one ending in disappointment and frustration. And then the inevitable panic started to set in …’

Having been told by doctors that, due to Izzy’s polycystic ovarian syndrome, they would have difficulty conceiving – and after two years of trying – Izzy and Harry turned to IVF.

Izzy’s aim, drawing on her own experience, is to break through some of the taboos surrounding miscarriage, IVF and fertility issues. This brutally honest and deeply personal account will acknowledge the struggles that so many couples go through but will ultimately focus on the positive, life-changing and remarkable results that IVF can yield. One in seven couples in the UK have difficulty conceiving and although many babies are now born through IVF, there is still a sense of awkwardness around the subject.

Izzy hopes that this book will be a companion to those going through similar challenges to those she has experienced. As she herself says, ‘No couple should have to go through it alone and in silence.’

What does TWG think?

When it comes to books written about a real life person and their ACTUAL life, how on Earth do we begin to review the book? In other book reviews we may discuss the pace of the book, or how it was written…things like that. But let’s be honest, it would take someone with the character of a female dog to start reviewing this book in terms of ‘storyline’, ‘plot’, and how ‘believable’ the entire book was. So, whilst I am still calling this post a review, I sure as hell won’t be pulling apart anything except the thoughts from my mind. After all, who are we to judge someone else lifestyle and the harrowing situations which they had to face?

As most people are aware, Izzy Judd is in the public eye (just like her husband Mcfly drummer – Harry Judd). Because of that, certain parts of their lifestyle will make the media before they have had time to finish their morning cuppa, or, in Izzy’s case, write a book about it. We all know that the media can stretch things. We all know that the media can put two and two together to make five. However, the media is was brought Izzy’s journey to light in passing and luckily, all of us would have the chance of reading her story in her very own words thanks to this book.

Why did I choose to read ‘Dare to Dream’? Well, as a huge fan of Mcfly and Escala (Izzy’s old group), I wanted to know more about their real lives away from the spotlight. Plus, seeing as ‘Dare to Dream’ is about such a personal and sensitive topic, I knew that whilst Izzy’s journey was a different one, I knew that I would be able to relate with the overall topic of fertility itself. Back in 2011 I was diagnosed with a chronic illness which ended up making me think that I would never be able to have children or, if I did fall pregnant, I knew that the risks of miscarriage and such, were all extremely high. I may not have had IVF, but I have fertility struggles. For me, ‘Dare to Dream’ became the voice of unborn babies and ready wombs everywhere.

Naively, I always thought that IVF worked every time, literally being a case of doctors putting the fertilised egg back in the womb and away you go. Oh my goodness I couldn’t have been more wrong! Based on Izzy’s own personal experience, getting her body emotionally and physically ready for IVF seemed to be an extremely challenging experience, and that was before the IVF even started! Not only were the Judd’s dealing with a lot of negative emotions due to conceiving not happening naturally as it were, they found themselves (Izzy more so) having to completely change their mindset when it came to pregnancy. Having dealt with multiple blows, I am in awe at how Izzy turned her emotional wellbeing upside down, gave herself a little shake and climbed through the mud, despite not knowing what could be waiting for her on the other side. Whilst some people may say that if you truly want something you’ll walk to the end of the Earth to get it, I truly believe that it takes a certain amount of strength to keep going along a path when all you want to do is hide. Through the fear. Through the emotional turbulence. Through the hormonal and physical changes outwit your control. THAT takes, in my eyes, severe courage, strength, and power to be able to get you and your body through that. I am completely in awe at what I read –  I admire Izzy Judd so much after reading this.

Obviously, if you haven’t been through something yourself, or been indirectly involved with someone who has, understanding that situation can be quite difficult, if not impossible. How can you know how someone feels after having needles stuck into their stomachs? How can you understand someone’s pain that their body isn’t working how they thought it should? How can you begin to understand someone’s journey one hundred percent, if you’re not THEM? You…..can’t. Izzy made it perfectly clear on more than one occasion that, whilst multiple people go down the IVF route, her journey and everyone else’s journey are completely separate and personal to each person. That said, Izzy also included some rather lovely hints and tips should anyone feel that they wish to try something which they hadn’t thought of before, whilst embarking on their IVF journey.

What made me quite emotional (aside from Izzy and Harry’s journey), was how Izzy thought of other people whilst going through her own situations. It’s clear from the onset that Izzy wanted to write this book to bring awareness to fertility issues via her own story, however, I found my eyes leaking when I read how Izzy also wrote this book with other people in mind, whilst wanting to ensure that nobody ever felt alone whilst going through their fertility struggles.

I’ve said it before in this post, but I’ll say it again; Izzy Judd is such a remarkable woman with an extremely big heart. I loved how in ‘Dare to Dream’, we got to read Harry’s side of the story as well, especially as it’s clear that the women can only house the baby, their partners are involved in the emotional side from a soon-to-be father point of view, as well as a loving partner. Even though I am a single mum, it was refreshing to see the journey from both angles.

‘Dare to Dream’ hit home in many ways from the emotional struggles, to the fertility struggles, to the feelings of self-doubt and failure. ‘Dare to Dream’ made me feel as though there is hope. I was lucky enough to become a mum the one time, however my fertility issues still continue and my body (and future babies) are forever at risk. Reading Izzy Judd’s honest and emotional story made me feel as though there was now a little angel sitting on my shoulder, ready to be the voice of hope, love, positivity and friendship. Honestly? I wish I had a friend in my life like Izzy Judd, I’m not going to lie.

A beautifully written, heartbreakingly poignant story about love, life, loss, but most importantly – faith.

‘Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain’ – my all time favourite quote.

‘Dare to Dream’ is available now from Amazon.

#MeetElviraCarr #BlogTour! A Letter to myself – Frances Maynard @perkinsfran1 @mantlebooks

blog_tour
I am delighted to be day two of the #MeetElviraCarr blog tour, courtesy of Mantle Books! Big thanks to Don Shanahan for inviting me to be a part of the tour! For my stop today I have the pleasure of sharing the author’s, Frances Maynard, letter to her younger self.

But first, here are the all important details of Frances Maynard’s new book, The Seven Imperfect Rules of Elvira Carr, which will be published by Mantle Books on the 24th August!

41ui2CL7NEL._SY346_

Funny, heart-warming and ultimately triumphant, The Seven Imperfect Rules of Elvira Carr is the perfect story for anyone who doesn’t quite fit in – and for everyone who chooses not to.

Elvira Carr is twenty-seven and neuro-atypical. Her father – who she suspects was in the secret service – has passed away and, after several Unfortunate Incidents growing up, she now spends most of her time at home with her overbearing mother. But when her mother has a stroke and is taken into care, Elvira is suddenly forced to look after herself or risk ending up in Sheltered Accommodation. Armed with her Seven Rules, which she puts together after online research, Elvira hopes to learn how to navigate a world that’s full of people she doesn’t understand. Not even the Seven Rules can help her, however, when she discovers that everything she thought she knew about her father was a lie, and is faced with solving a mystery she didn’t even know existed . . .

Click here to pre-order your copy of the book.

A Letter to my younger self by Frances Maynard.

Dear Frances,

Don’t listen to them.

Don’t listen to your parents.  How can you be a carbon copy?  Family doesn’t have to be blood.

Don’t listen to your teachers.  Most of them will never teach you anything you need to know.  But keep learning.

Don’t listen to advice.  It will be unasked for, undeserved and irrelevant.  You’ll only learn, unfortunately, by doing.

Don’t listen to conventions that, at the time, seem set in stone.

Don’t listen to anyone who’s certain about anything.  Certainty is blinding.

Do listen to your friends (but not the drug-addled ones).  Wisdom is not confined to the old.

Do listen to your gut instinct.

Do listen to the little voice inside that is telling you: one day things will be different, one day you’ll have more power, one day your time will come.

Love from

Frances

Huge thanks to Frances Maynard for such an honest and empowering letter.